NEW DELHI: Former law minister and Congress leader Ashwani Kumar said Tuesday India's "preemptive" air strike on a Jaish terrorist camp cannot be treated as an act of aggression and any provocative military action by Islamabad will legitimize the use of the nation's might in repelling Pakistani misadventure.
He lauded the use of "hard power" by India in defence of the nation's security and inviolability of its territorial integrity and said the operation is a befitting response to the martyrdom of soldiers who lost their lives in Pulwama terrorist attack, which was encouraged and sponsored from Pakistani soil.
"As per established international practice and rules of public international law, India's preemptive air strikes cannot be treated as an act of aggression and therefore any misadventure and provocative military action by Pakistan will legitimize the use of the nation's might in repelling Pakistan's aggression," he said in a statement.
"Punjab and Kashmir who have traditionally borne the brunt of Pakistan's aggression against India will once again rise to checkmate Pakistani aggression, if any," he said.
Kumar said that in achieving the national objectives, care has been taken to ensure the use of force is proportionate and deployed only against terrorist camps operating from Pakistan.
"While military hostilities between nations must always be the last option, we know from history that lasting peace is the dividend of power.
The nation salutes the courage of our forces and stands united when summoned to the flag," he said.
In a pinpointed and swift air strike that lasted less than two minutes, India pounded Jaish-e-Mohammed's biggest training camp in Pakistan early Tuesday, killing up to 350 terrorists and trainers who were moved there for their protection after the Pulwama attack, officials said.